Between November 2018 and May 2019 the National Transport Authority (NTA) carried out the first round of public consultation on initial proposals for the Emerging Preferred Routes of sixteen Core Bus Corridors across the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). During this consultation phase thirteen thousand submissions were received in total. A Consultation Submissions Report for each corridor is available to view and download on our website www.busconnects.ie.
All of the submissions were reviewed and considered as part of the design preparation for the Preferred Route for each corridor. We have amended our initial proposals to address some of the issues raised in submissions including incorporating suggestions and recommendations from local residents, community groups and stakeholders. We are now publishing the Preferred Routes for sixteen Core Bus Corridors and commencing a second round of public consultation.
This document is one of a series of sixteen, each dedicated to a single core bus corridor. The document provides a written description of the Preferred Route from start to finish with supporting maps and includes information on revisions made, if any, from the initial emerging preferred route.
The original brochures detailing each Emerging Preferred Routes, published last year, are available to view and download on our website www.busconnects.ie. These brochures contain information on the process for impacted property owners, the project timelines and steps required for statutory planning application.
BusConnects is the National Transport Authority's programme to greatly improve bus services. It is a key part of the Government's polices to improve public transport and address climate change in Dublin and other cities. It is included within the following Government policy strategies:
Dublin is growing and needs a bus network that works for a developing city. The aim of BusConnects is to deliver an enhanced bus system that is better for the city, its people and the environment. BusConnects is designed to provide a better, more reliable and more efficient bus service for everyone.
this project will deliver journey time savings of up to 40-50% on corridors. Dedicated bus and cycle lanes can significantly increase bus travel speeds and reliability.
Tackling the challenges of climate change is a priority for Ireland and moving more people to public transport is a key component of the solution.
More bus shelters, with seating where possible, new footpaths and better information at bus stops, will make using the fully accessible bus fleet easier for all to use, including the elderly and mobility impaired.
This project will see the provision of much needed cycling facilities around the city region with over 200kms of high quality cycling facilities provided.
Along each route, improvements and enhancements will be made to footpaths, walkways and pedestrian crossings. Funding and investment for local urban realms with additional landscaping and outdoor amenities will be provided.
Part of the overall BusConnects Programme is to create 16 radial core bus corridors (CBC). A CBC is an existing road with bus priority so that buses can operate efficiently, reliably and punctually. This generally means full length dedicated bus lanes on both sides of the road from start to finish of each corridor or other measures to ensure that buses are not delayed in general traffic congestion. The bus lanes will be alongside segregated cycle lanes/tracks where feasible and general traffic.
A segregated cycle track is a separate selection of the road dedicated for cycling only. This space will generally be isolated from other vehicular traffic by a physical kerb. Where is it not physically possible to have segregated cycle lanes/tracks there will be the option of quiet roads and shared cycling on reduced speed roads for cyclists.
The NTA published outline plans for each of the 16 CBCs in a non-statutory public consultation process in 2018/2019. The options were called Emerging Preferred Routes (EPR), in some cases with multiple sub-options, to inform the public of the likely layout of the roadway with the necessary CBC infrastructure in place. They included possible impacts on front gardens, and likely changes to how traffic will operate to facilitate bus priority.
Following consideration of the public submissions about the 16 EPR's, the core bus corridor proposals have been reviewed and amended. They are now being presented as the Preferred Route Option (PRO) and are subject to a second round of non-statutory public consultation.
They are not final proposals as they are subject to further consideration from the second round of public consultation and also subsequent examination in the context of environmental impact assessment
A Bus Gate is a sign-posted short length of stand-alone bus lane. This short length of road is restricted exclusively to buses, taxis and cyclists plus emergency vehicles. It facilitates bus priority by removing general through traffic along the overall road where the bus gate is located. General traffic will be directed by signage to divert away to other roads before they arrive at the bus gate.
Signal Control Priority uses traffic signals to enable buses to get priority ahead of single lane road sections, but it is only effective for short distances. This typically arises where the bus lane cannot continue due to obstructions on the roadway. An example might be where a road has pinch-points where it narrows due to existing buildings or structures that cannot be demolished to widen the road to make space for a bus lane. It works through the use of traffic signal controls (typically at junctions) where the bus lane and general traffic lane must merge ahead and share the road space for a short distance until the bus lane recommences downstream. The general traffic will be stopped at the signal to allow the bus pass through the narrow section first and when the bus has passed the general trafficwill then be allowed through the lights.
A Toucan Crossing is a roadway crossing designed to enable both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road with purposefully designed signal controls.
Where CBC roadway widths cannot facilitate cyclists without significant impact on bus priority, alternative cycle routes are explored for short distances away from the CBC bus route. Such offline options may include directing cyclists along streets with minimal general traffic other than car users who live on the street.
They are called Quiet Streets due to the low amount of general traffic and are deemed suitable for cyclists sharing the roadway with the general traffic without the need to construct segregated cycle tracks or painted cycle lanes. The Quiet Street treatment would involve appropriate advisory signage for both the general road users and cyclists.
Urban Realm refers to the everyday street spaces that are used by people to cross, shop, socialise, play, and use for activities such as walking, exercise or commute to/from work. The Urban Realm encompasses all streets, squares, junctions, and other rights-of-way, whether in residential, commercial or civic use. When well-designed and laid out with care in a community setting, it enhances the every-day lives of residents and those passing through. It typically relates to all open-air parts of the built environment where the public has free access. It would include seating, trees, planting and other aspects to enhance the experience for all.
The Ballymun to City Centre Core Bus Corridor (CBC) commences on the Ballymun Road at its junction with St. Margaret's Road just south of M50 Junction 4. It is routed along Ballymun Road, St. Mobhi Road, Botanic Road, Prospect Road, Phibsborough Road, Constitution Hill and Church Street as far as Arran Quay, where it will join the existing traffic management regime on the North Quays.
Priority for buses is provided along the entire route, consisting primarily of dedicated bus lanes in both directions, with alternative measures proposed at particularly constrained locations along St. Mobhi Road and Botanic Road in Glasnevin.
Segregated cycle tracks will be provided along the full length of the route from the northern end to the Royal Canal just south of Hart's Corner in Phibsborough. An alternative cycle route is proposed along a part of the corridor in the southern half from Hart's Corner through Phibsborough to the Markets area of the western city centre.
The following paragraphs will describe each section of the CBC in more detail, identifying the key design revisions which have been incorporated into the design since the publication of the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) in February 2019.
At the northern end the CBC commences on the Ballymun Road at its junction with St. Margaret's Road, just south of M50 Junction 4. This starting point is located almost 0.5km further north than the previous starting point at Santry Cross.
Between St. Margaret's Road and Collins Avenue, a bus lane, a general traffic lane, and a segregated cycle track will be provided in each direction.
Between Collins Avenue and Griffith Avenue, it is proposed to maintain the existing bus and general traffic lanes in each direction and to upgrade the cycling facilities to segregated cycle tracks. Some small areas of land take will be required for bus stops in a few locations along this section. The indicative extents of this land take are included in the Appendix of this brochure.
A design revision on the EPR allows for the retention of all traffic movements at the junction of St. Canice's Road and traffic signals will be provided with pedestrian crossings.
It is proposed to introduce a right-turn movement ban from Hampstead Avenue on to the Ballymun Road, traffic turning left would not be impacted.
On the outbound arm of this one-way traffic system along Ballymun Road, it is proposed to retain the existing number of general traffic lanes and to provide an additional bus lane and segregated cycle track.
On the inbound arm of the one-way system along St. Mobhi Road Upper, it is proposed to reduce the number of traffic lanes from three to two which will allow for the accommodation of a bus lane. It is intended to retain the existing trees on this section of the route and the proposed cycle track will be located behind these trees where the existing footpath will be narrowed as necessary.
On the Griffith Avenue arm of the one-way traffic system, it is proposed to convert one existing traffic lane to a bus lane which will avoid the need for road widening and removal of all existing trees as previously shown. A contra-flow cycle track will be provided in the eastbound direction along this section of road to avoid the need for cyclists to follow the one-way system around the central island.
In the previously published proposals two alternative arrangements for St. Mobhi Road were presented for consultation and feedback:
to divert northbound through traffic from St. Mobhi Road to Botanic Road, Glasnevin Hill and Ballymun Road Lower through provision of a Bus Gate on St. Mobhi Road at the junction with Griffith Avenue.
Proposed widening of St. Mobhi Road to provide an additional northbound bus lane, which would entail removal of all the existing mature trees.
It is now proposed to proceed with a modified version of Option A, which will retain almost all of the existing mature trees along St. Mobhi Road. The proposed works along St. Mobhi Road between Griffith Avenue and the River Tolka will be limited, consisting of additional cycle tracks to be provided behind the existing trees which will all be retained. To accommodate this, the existing footpath will be narrowed as necessary.
The traffic diverted by the proposed northbound Bus Gate at St. Mobhi Road will be directed westward along Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas Road, Cremore Villas and Griffith Avenue to rejoin Ballymun Road.
Some amendments are proposed to the previously published road layout on the southern part of St. Mobhi Road as follows:
For northbound through traffic which will be diverted away from St. Mobhi Road by the proposed Bus Gate at the Griffith Avenue junction, the alternative route will be designated from Hart's Corner at Phibsborough along the Finglas Road. The route will continue along orbital route R102 via Old Finglas Road, Tolka Estate and Griffith Avenue to join the Ballymun Road over a distance of 3.3km. This represents an increased length of 1.5km when compared to the existing direct route along St. Mobhi Road. This diversion route follows the most suitable alternative regional roads that can accommodate the diverted traffic.
Additional proposals have been developed for Glasnevin Hill and Ballymun Road Lower. At the junction of Botanic Road, Botanic Avenue and Glasnevin Hill, there will be urban realm improvements to widen the pedestrian areas by narrowing the road junction. In addition to improving the pedestrian arrangements, this will provide an enhanced setting for Glasnevin Village at Glasnevin Church and a row of commercial premises.
To the west of St. Mobhi Road, a short section of Ballymun Road Lower between Claremount Avenue and Church Avenue will be restricted to a one-way southbound general traffic lane where the road is too narrow for two-way traffic alongside on-street parking, which will now be formalised to accommodate the parking needs of residents
On Botanic Road the existing cycle lanes will be upgraded to segregated cycle tracks instead of the previous proposal to remove the cycle lanes to accommodate a northbound bus lane. Using Signal Controlled Priority, a shorter length of northbound bus lane will be provided at the southern end where the road can be widened at a former industrial premises on the eastern side. Bus priority in the southbound direction will be maintained as shown in the previous proposals using Signal Controlled Priority.
On Prospect Way, it is proposed to retain the bus lane and reduce from two general traffic lanes to a single traffic lane. This will accommodate a two-way cycle track on the northern side outside of the existing trees which will be retained. This cycle track will allow cyclists to bypass the Hart's Corner one-way traffic system, and also to link westward to the Finglas CBC.
A two-way segregated cycle track will continue along the eastern side of Prospect Road to the Royal Canal where the cycle route will extend to Royal Canal Bank bypassing Phibsborough Village. This will allow cyclists to circulate around the northern and eastern sides of Hart's Corner fully segregated from traffic. The existing layout with a bus lane and two traffic lanes will be reduced to a bus lane and a single traffic lane along Prospect Road from Prospect Way to Lyndsay Road.
Between Lindsay Road and North Circular Road, the Phibsborough Road will accommodate a bus lane and a general traffic lane in each direction, but there is insufficient space for cycle tracks. Instead, cyclists can use the Royal Canal Bank route to avoid sharing the bus lane.
The existing northern railway bridge on Phibsborough Road will be widened on the eastern side and a new footbridge will be provided across the Docklands Railway Line between Whitworth Road and the Royal Canal. At Cross-Guns Bridge the road layout will be adjusted to widen the footpath on the western side.
A new footbridge will be provided over the Royal Canal at Royal Canal Bank to connect the cycle routes at this location.
A new bridge will be provided under North Circular Road where previously there had been an old bridge over the Royal Canal spur to Broadstone. This will allow cyclists and pedestrians to pass under the street and avoid the need for a road crossing.
In Phibsborough Village urban realm improvements are proposed, which will widen the street at the shopping centre on the western side for bus lanes in both directions, wider footpaths and new street trees. Along Phibsborough Road between the Royal Canal at Cross Gun's Bridge and Connaught Street, an island will be provided in the middle of the road with a row of new street trees.
Due to width restrictions south of the North Circular Road/Phibsborough Road junction (Doyle's Corner), the northbound bus lane will not be continuous over a short section where Signal Controlled Priority will be provided on the approach. Further south of this junction, Phibsborough Road will accommodate two bus lanes and two general traffic lanes.
Along Constitution Hill a two-way cycle track will be provided along the eastern side of the street to connect from Western Way and Broadstone to Coleraine Street. This will allow the cycle route to continue southward along quiet streets through the Markets Area to reach the River Liffey east of Church Street Bridge.
At the junction with North King Street the southbound bus lane will be terminated. Bus priority will be maintained through Signal Controlled Priority. The southbound bus lane will be reinstated at the junction with Mary's Lane. The proposed CBC will tie back into the existing road network at Arran Quay.
The proposed MetroLink Scheme will interact with this bus corridor at 5 locations: Whitworth Road (Proposed Glasnevin Metro Station), St. Mobhi Road (Proposed Griffith Park Metro Station), and at 3 locations along Ballymun Road (Proposed Collins Avenue, Ballymun Metro Station and Northwood Metro Station). The proposed changes to the street layouts in these locations will be coordinated with the proposed Metro Stations.
This brochure provides details of the proposed Preferred Route Option for this core bus corridor. These proposals are subject to a second non-statutory round of public consultation, and subsequent design refinement and environmental impact assessment, before a formal statutory application will be made by the NTA to An Bord Pleanála for approval.
The project website www.busconnects.ie has a dedicated section for the Core Bus Corridor project. All previous emerging preferred route brochures are available on the website. Users can access the site to find out more about the project and download copies of the key documents.
General queries can be directed to a dedicated freephone 1800 303 653 or by email to email@example.com
We are inviting submissions in relation to the Preferred Route Options set out in this document. The closing date for submissions is stated on the website www.busconnects.ie
Written submissions and observations may be made by:
Core Bus Corridor Project National Transport Authority, Dún Scéine, Harcourt Lane, Dublin 2, D02 WT20
Following the second round of public consultation the NTA will finalise the Preferred Route Options for all sixteen corridors. The scheme designs will be finalised, transport and environmental impact assessments will be completed. This will culminate in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) for the scheme together with details of land to be acquired. This will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála during Q4 2020 for its consideration and determination. A formal statutory consultation process will be undertaken as part of that process.